mashups and data visualization

October 31, 2007 at 6:20 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , )

Darlene Fichter

“The eyes only see what the ming comprehends.”

A mashup takes info from multiple services to make a new service. Like putting photos from flickr onto locations in Google Maps, that sort of thing. Creators and consumers of information get blended together more and more, and mashups are part of that process.

Here’s my mashup idea – take actor bio information from imdb, and create/find a database that has the main characters from lots of famous books, and then have people cast movie versions of books that they like (whether they’ve been made already or not) to do a kind of Fantasy Movie Maker sort of thing (similar to fantasy football?). Anyway, I’d do it.

Lots of sites either are mashups of use mashup technology someplace on them.

In Toronto: Maps with location of beer stores and which ones are open – library could do something similar with library and other service locations, add hours of operations with a clock function, and show which libraries, copier places, notaries, courts, law library, museums, etc. are open, plus links to their sites, etc. You can do this really easy with Google My Maps (well, locations, anyway – not sure about the clock part) – location of chocolate stores. coffee maps, etc.

Using maps to make an online index of aerial photos over time.

First you have to get an API Key to the information source you want to use, like Google Maps API. Use the code and change locations by changing the lat and long in the code, stuff like that.

Yahoo Pipes has a Tutorial. Find a mashup that you like, and clone the code and put your own info in to make it useful to you. Yahoo Pipes has a find a library mashup, and you could take it and put your own libraries in it. Pipes is a social site, and the sharing and reuse/repurpose of mashups is encouraged, so theres a lot of support around to help you do the things you want to do.

Cambridge Public Library has a bookcover mashup slider showing the top 20 books (what about the most recently returned books? Tee hee)

Unintended consequences of mashups – some happy, some not so much. Garbage in garbage out – be sure that you are using good data and open API, and stuff like that. Link to the sources of the data, so people can track where it’s coming from.

Lots of graphics and charts being made, visual representations of information being created to show complex information. – shows visual representations of website structure.

Newsmap is profiled – seen that before, but it’s a favorite. Color coded map of news by type in different countries. Elastic Lists – faceted browsing type of thing. Visual column-type list of Nobel Prize winners – shows everything available, allows you to limit as you go and see results below, stop when you want, or continue in granularity.

Social sites for data visualization – look at data analysis tools and respond to them. Also use social sites to upload and manipulate all kinds of data for use in your own presentations, etc. but also give benefit to other users of the social site, so others can benefit from the data vis that you did. Swivel is one, Many Eyes is another. – Star Size comparisons chart is pretty sweet. Bird sightings chart is cool, too. Lots of text display and analysis going on, showing how words are used in relation to other words, etc. Many Eyes is cool – you can use the existing data or upload your own, watch data, rate it, etc.

liveplasmo – gleans relationships between actors, directors, movies.

Gapminder – trendanalyzer software bought by Google – transforms global trends into lively visualizations. Hans Rosling – Ideas Worth Spreading video on YouTube.


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Podcasting & Videocasting Pre-Conference pt. 1

October 31, 2007 at 5:23 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , )

David Free and David Lee King

Definition: A podcast is usually a regular digital sound “publication,” and you need to have an RSS feed available so that your listeners can subscribe to it. Even though they originated for the personal audio player like the iPod, most people enjoy them on their desk or laptop computer.

Video: Ask A Ninja – What is Podcasting? – ninjuice?

Student Monitor Marketing Survey – rate the coolness of things. Beer vs. iPod iPod wins in coolness with college age kids.

Find podcasts at: Google, Podcast Pickle, iTunes (majority go for podcast content – well integrated software, but you have to have an iPod for synching up audio content) Podcast 411 directory of directories, uses speech to text technology so you can search the content of a podcast.

Juice is a good downloadable aggregator for getting and listening to podcasts.

Apodo – Spanish language podcasts?

**What if we did One Minute Critic booktalks of interesting books, RSS feeds available, every few days publish something, and encouraging users to submit their own podcast reviews of books. Links to podcasts about the book from the catalog? Interesting… We could have an online library channel with video and audiocasts, people could subscribe to certain types of content – reviews, instruction, events, etc.

Pritzker Military Library Podcasts, Arizona State University Library Channel,

Poetry podcasts? Capture the poetry from that one poetry night that we do for the famous local poet… of course i can’t remember the guys name now, but the people i work with will know what i’m talking about. Record the poetry reading and release the poems on a regular basis throughout the year, encourage participants to record their poems and submit them to the mix. Storytimes could be recorded – but be aware of copyright infringement – use public domain, talk with local authors, etc.

Language tours of the library – talk about library services and the locations of things in a variety of languages. A Spanish language “How-To”
recorded in chunks, for catalog, holds, recommending that they approach the desk if they have questions, etc.

Real recordings of normal people talking can humanize your library.

Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide.

7 Steps: Recording/Editing, Listening, Hosting, Posting/Feeding, Promoting, Evaluate/Repeat
Only get USB mics. Sound quality is better. Headset can be good, but only for one person. Blu Snoball? Digital recorder, ipods have an attachemnt that you can use to record yourself into.

Audacity is a good free open source audio. Whoot!

Have your institution host, or use someplace online like, or others. Post links to the podcast, or embed the podcast into blogs and things. Make sure you put it out in a lot of places, the promote it through your web page, blog, other community sources.

If you break things up, you can repurpose them for promotional as well as informational purposes.

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Marketing with Audio and Visual

October 31, 2007 at 5:22 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , )

Paul Asay, Indiana State University

Short session in the Cyber Corner.

New theme for the library is “Campus Living Room,” and part of promoting that is making people feel comfortable being there, doing things, reading, writing, watching DVDs, listening to music, meeting friends and all that kind of thing. Part of that, then is using audio and video tools to market library services.

Reel Big Video Contest – contest to promote a certain idea or theme that’s related in some way to the library, get your users to do some work for you creating interesting advertising and interest.

I Love My Library video contest – staff and students create a short video to promote library services. Showed a couple of videos – some good humor, pretty well done on a low budget.

Tools for working with audio – Audacity is a free and easy to use tool. Make a podcast in minutes, get the LAME converter and save it as an mp3 file. You can use it to create oral histories, events, debates, forums, etc.

Video – Windows Movie Maker is pretty easy, and if you’ve got it on your computer, then you’re set.

Using YouTube can be a great way to go.

CDs and DVDs are very inexpensive – make some and hand them out to admin, board members, the public, whatever – fairly inexpensive to generate.

Audio or Video walking tour of the library, library services DVD, short video to highlight new services, library contests, etc.

Arizona State “The Library Channel” is good example.

Have these marketing strategies increased library use? Possibly – in the last year or two circ stats on CDs and DVDs have gone through the roof, hard to say if that’s as a direct result of the marketing or not.

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Library Commons

October 31, 2007 at 12:17 am (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , , , )

The first i wrote this post i had a bunch of great ideas generated during the session, which i wrote down in a stream of consciousness sort of way. When i went to publish it, i discovered that there was no wifi, and so it just kind of went away. AAAAAAAAAARGH.

Now that i’ve relaxed a little, i can write down a few things that came back to me. Mostly, it was about how libraries need to have a physical place in the community and a digital place in the community, and whenever possible, we need to integrate those two spaces together – sounds crazy, right? But, with meeting and study rooms that have hardware and wifi enabled, we’re encouraging our users to take advantage of our digital and physical resources. Having terminals located throughout the library, is a start, too. But also making our online presence a similar type of common area for our patron base – what do our users do online, and can we help them do it better? I think my MySpace band gathering project could be an example of that. With a little set-up, a little promo, maybe i can make my site a good place for people to go if they want to see what’s going on with music in Vancouver – so far there’s lots of metal bands and Christian bands in Vancouver, at least on MySpace. I know there are more local bands than I’ve found, so I’ll have to try some different methods of searching in order to track them down. I haven’t decided if i want to add Portland bands – that’s a much larger number, and the Vancouver music might get lost in the shuffle. This is assuming that the people find it valuable to them.

Blah blah blah. There’s more than just MySpace – our patrons are creating all kinds of content for the web. We collect artifacts of people’s creative impulses already, and have a NW focused collection of those artifacts – books, dvds and video, mainly. But couldn’t we start gathering and encourage the submission of locally created music, video, blogs, photos, podcasts, etc.? The technology is out there that allows for the gathering together of various media from different sources – for example, with one service you can collect links to video from any other video service on the web, so you’re not restricted to YouTube. So, gather locally produced video together, and create a collection. Same with photos – find flickr users from our cities and connect with them, then advertise that the library is a hub for local photographers, and encourage locals to use a common tag to add photos to flickr – a tag that we can easily subscribe to and grab. So if they’re taking pictures of local places or events, encourage them to use that tag, etc. Same with YouTube or any other site where people upload and tag things – when our patrons do things online, we can gather it together. I think this is one way that our library could add value in an online setting, and still stay local – one thing about the Inter

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Screencasting and elearning resources

October 31, 2007 at 12:17 am (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , )

Michelle Boule –

Karen Coombs –


Software that can help make screencasts work


Slideshare – online only

Zoho show – can put a lot of stuff into it, work offline, etc.

Google Presentations – for shared document/presentation work


Online learning – Drupal Chat has a built in chat engine that gets around filters and firewalls, which can be nice if you’re in a system that has those things in place.  Everyone meets at the same time, signs in with their Drupal account, discuss the topic, be done.  Could require a little training to get people used to group chat tech.


Third party chat clients – Trilliam, Pidgeon – people use their existing IM accounts at AIM, Yahoo, etc. to sign in.  Need to download software onto a desktop in order run the program.


Meebo solves this problem – you can go to it online, set up an online account, and use it as a central point.  People sign in with their other accounts.  It’s great.


Group Clients – CampFire, MeeboRooms – for group chat.




Blogger – bought by Google, some new features, new things being built for Blogger, integrates with other Google products.  You can have your own domain for about 9 dollars.  Neat. 


WordPress – they have both a .com and a .org presence.  They’re open source, so that’s cool.  Lots of flexibility, comes with a great SPAM filter.  Can import posts from other major blogs, like Blogger.  You can post to the future, autosaves posts as you type.  You can download and host a version of the software, too. 


Movable Type – you have to install it on your server.  Looks clunky and expensive for what now?


Back To Screencasting Tools:

Camtasia – pricey.  Capture screen, embed video, powerpoint blended in.  Very complex to use and learn, but you can export to various file types, lots of flexibility. 

Captivate – simple to use, not full-motion capture, instead a series of screenshots placed quickly together. 

CamStudio – free option, only runs on windows.  Open source.  Simple, you can export as avi or flash video.

IshowU – Mac option is a great place to store your video files, and you can then post to multiple locations with a click, rather than have to upload repeatedly.


Webcasting – realtime teaching.  Tough to do, and tools that do the task are really expensive.  A few options out there for people with small budgets:


OPAL – Online Programming for All Libraries.  Collective of librarians.  Live chat feature, archives stuff, only works on PCs in IE.  Booo.


DimDim – open source software service thingy – costs a little money.  Browser based, multi-user chat, a/v, screen, doc. sharing.


Zoho Meeting – free in beta, person who runs it has to have an install, works in most every browser.  Broadcasts the presenters computer to the attendees.


VMukti – free, os, no install, open or private meetings, have to install and run on a MySQL database, support is free, installation support is 100$.


Podcasting tools:


Audacity – the way to go for making recordings.  Great editing features, with level adjustments, trimming, fades.  You can create an mp3 file, remember to download the LAME codec for creating mp3 files.  That’s important.


Probably just look at podcast notes.  Feedburner keeps stats for you – important for justifying support from the institution.


iTunes University – lectures and stuff.  Neat.


Podpress – a plugin for your wordpress blog – definitely look into that for One Minute Critic and other bloggy blogs.

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October 30, 2007 at 7:33 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , )

After Joe Janes did his keynote speech this morning at Internet Librarian, I had an idea for something to do with MySpace, beyond or in addition to or separate from the regualr connect with your users issue – MySpace started as a music site for bands, right? So why not create a library site that collects bands and venues and labels and so forth from your local service area, join groups or create a group for your local bands, and then be a hub for information about shows, opportunities, and news relating to the local music scene? This might be something that is done well by other media if you happen to be in a major metropolitan area, but if you’re in a midsized or smaller city, it might be an excellent way to connect with people that don’t regularly use the library. Our library does a battle of the bands competition every year for teens – i bet we could help the bands develop their myspace profiles, connect with other local bands and fans, etc. Librarians rock at organizing and repackaging information, let’s take on the pell mell world of myspace and make a valuable resource out of it for our patrons! I’m going to try it out, and see what i can organize – you never know what you can do until you try, right?

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October 30, 2007 at 7:32 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , )

Just had a conversation with someone here about being part of making popular web spaces better – regarding facebook and myspace, mainly, but it got me thinking about other things, like Wikipedia. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article “Fort Vancouver Regional Library District.” It’s very brief. This page, and many other community oriented pages about the cities and counties that we’re a part of, would benefit from our knowledge and expertise, and our ability to research, cite sources, and evaluate good information. The more i go to sessions here, and conferences everywhere, the more i think that we have to be active about content creation online. We’re users and guides, but we need to be creators too – in a social internet environment, there are few divisions between users and creators, and in many cases, a single act on a social site is both use and creation, as well as dissemination. You make something, revise something, reinterpret something, and publish it, all within a very small space of time.

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MySpace/Facebook – Internet Librarian

October 29, 2007 at 10:27 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , , )

Part One – MySpace

Aaron Schmidt again – this guy gets around.  He was part of the Games in Libraries workshop i went to yesterday, and then this morning’s session on marketing and outreach with web 2.0, and now a discussion about MySpace and facebook.  It’s called “Whospace?”  I’m interested to see what other things can be done with facebook.  MySpace is in a clunky place for me right now, but we’ll see if there’s anything fresh coming down the pike as it were. – this is where all his slides for this part of the presentation are – lots of myspace profiles of various libraries.

Create content for the sites that has value – games, scavenger hunts.  Polls with stupid questions on them about what’s hip and not hip any more.  Have your YA peeps think up things to put up there.  Don’t be boring or static.  Switch it up, have real people featured there.  You can get a counter to see how many people come to the site.

Part 2 – Facebook

Susan Herzog  –  Eastern Connecticut State University

Talked about all the bad things that can happen when people aren’t smart about the info they put on facebook, and the library’s role in helping students and others make better online choices.  Overall a surprisingly negative  presentation.  Even thought Susan came back at the end to say that she thinks librarians should be there, i couldn’t find any evidence in her presentation to suggest that she personally feels this way.  It was kind of uncomfortable.

Overall, this session was a little odd, simply because it felt very unbalanced.  I went looking for a comparison between the two big social networks, and some information about how libraries are using them.  Instead, I got a great presentation about good ways that libraries can use MySpace to connect with their users, a lot of information from reliable sources about how kids use MySpace is a generally safe way.  Then comes this very negative portrayal of facebook with a lot of quotes from 2005, which isn’t that long ago except for the fact that in 2005 facebook wasn’t open to everyone, and hadn’t started adding the open applications features.

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Online Outreach – 2.0 Marketing Strategies for Libraries

October 29, 2007 at 6:11 pm (conference notes, Library 2.0)

Sarah Houghton Jan

Aaron Schmidt

bbokspace? Where do our patrons spend their time? They are more wired, we need to reach them where they’re at. Make your site two-way – people need to interact with the site, contribute, have a voice. Comment, provide content, feedback, etc. Online, everyone’s patrons are your patrons – we answer anyone who walks up to the desk or calls the library, or emails. Free software is good, and there is a lot out there for libraries to take advantage of:

Search variations of your library’s name in Google and other search engines – what is coming up? What other terms would people use to find your library? Vancouver Library, Fort Vancouver Library, branch names, look at buying an adword from Google (costs money, but…) You could have more words than just “vancouver library” like “vancouver washington travel” or something like that.

Make sure that your library is well represented on Wikipedia – not just the page for your library, but for your city, county, district, schools, multiple community entry points to your library. Any stakeholder presence on Wikipedia can become a portal to your library’s website and services.

Lots of places where you can have your library events listed, not just craigslist (but still craigslist!)

Look for local blogs and forums and groups – blogdigger has a local blog search. Search for zipcode as a tag, town name in flickr, etc. Interact as a real person with local bloggers – don’t be heavy handed about being a representative of the library. Just be yourself. Get your site linked to from other community sites – local metro and county. use the search term link: to see who links to our website.

yelp – social review website.

Continuously engage users – contests, questions, ways of interacting on our social networking presence sites – MySpace stuff, flickr, youtube, etc. Tap the local talent for creating and maintaining these types of sites – see if local MLS programs have grad students can get credit for doing things like this for your library.

When you send out emails to promote services, links to newsletters, etc., personalize them, tell them who you are and make the message human.

My library doesn’t have any reviews in Google Maps – can we change that? Is that ethical to write a positive review for your library in Google Maps? Or, can we encourage our savvy web users to review the library at Google Maps as part of our Internet stations? People like to comment, how can we make that more visible and findable – so instead of a piece of paper which they can’t ever see again, put the comments on the web page, and let people write in. Controls for content spam and offensive language/content in place, but post the good reviews with the bad and address concerns.

Make your a/v content findable. Well, first make some a/v content. Refer back to the podcast and videoblog posts. Make stuff. Put it out there. link to it from everywhere. Trackback to other places that link to it. Thank people for linking, watching, listening. Invite

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Video Blogging – Pre Conference pt. 2

October 29, 2007 at 5:13 pm (1, conference notes, Library 2.0) (, , )

David Lee King – Videoblogging

The same as podcasting, but with video included.  Be sure to check out Rocketboom – 3 minute daily video blog, covers internet culture. 2-3 people in their apartment, very low cost, no promotion funds, but getting very popular, 4-5 hundred thousand viewers per day.

Other terms used to describe video blogging:  Videoblog, Vlog, Vodcast, Videocast, V-Log, Video Podcast

Not: A digital version of a tv show, not streaming video, not YouTube, not digital video news from CNN.

Video blogging is video on a blog. Commenting is allowed, just like a regular blog. Gets the conversation going. Some vloggers will use video comments.

I can’t open it” By Steve Garfield. Very funny.

Broadband makes video blogging easier. Free storage online, easy upload, cheap equipment, video ability is available on cameras, phones, etc. lots of great uses for short video clips of things, and the technology is there to help them do it, find it, etc. – search engine for video – similar, video metasearch engine

google video search

mefeedia – web based video aggregator – set up an account and store video at your account instead of on your own computer.

iTunes – video as well as audio.

Just click on a video to watch it. Need of course computer, fast connection, the usual stuff like that. Need to have a video player installed, like QuickTime, Windows Media Player, Flash, etc.

Use a video aggregator, subscribe to the video blog, then you don’t have to search as much, and you can watch it on your own time, etc. just like normal RSS feed aggregator.

Creating video blogs – need time. Mostly time. Time to do it. Also, mini-DV camcorder, webcam and mic, mobile phone with a video camera in it, some laptops even have built in vidoe/camera capability.

Movie editing software: Windows movie maker is good, Quicktime Pro, Avid Free DV, Power Director, Ulead’s video studio, Adobe’s Video Suite (spendy), Final Cut Pro (spendy spendy)

Online video editing is an option – eyespot, jumpcut, motionbox,

Need a blog – any blog. Blogger, WordPress, work great. Feedburner can be great for getting RSS feeds out

Video is not quite as easy as podcasting, becasue file types vary. .mov, .m4v, flash are the big types, but there are many types. Flash is great, but hard to download for later viewing.

Ideas can be good. What would be good for a video blog? What kinds of content will work best with the media?

Storage/Access – store them yourself, at your library (bandwidth issues – popular videos might take up more bandwidth), media server is good. Or, let someone else store them –, ourmedia, internet archive, others.

I like the idea of doing it at the Internet Archive – non-profit, open, free.

Lots of video hosting places out there. Lots and lots and lots. Youtube is the most popular. You can store up to a 10 minute video. You can get an RSS feed, embedding, viewer stats, but hard for others for download. Blogger has a way to save video on blogger.

What can libraries do? 60 second book review – life on the refrigerator door. Very cool. Booktalks with creative stuff in them.

book talks, PR, Bibliographic instruction, exhibits, interviews, events, tutorials.

Slideshare – slow yet, wonky for sound, slidecasts and screencasts should be short, just like all other videos.

More ideas: Cultural memory project, Local news, video contests for teens, environmental issues, behind the scenes at the library, local places to visit, Travel videos, local attractions, political candidates discuss issues, hobbies, lifestyles.

For more info: videoblogging for dummies, secrets of videoblogging. – videoblogging group lots of good people.

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